Norman Mailer was garlanded with prizes throughout his career, but one posthumous honor might have made him chuckle: a British magazine has bestowed on him its annual award for bad sex in fiction. Mailer's last novel, The Castle in the Forest, imagines the youth of Adolf Hitler, complete with long, incestuous sex scenes including phrases like "her most unmentionable part" and "his old battering ram."
The Literary Review's annual gong seeks to highlight the "crude, tasteless, often perfunctory" descriptions of sex in the contemporary novel. This year's nominees ranged from fumbling juvenile attempts at coitus to sadomasochistic scenes including hot wax and beer. As for Mailer, the judges of the bad-sex prize praised his considerable accomplishments, even if his depiction of the Führer in flagrante fell short.